My Scholarly Reflections

This is where I tell what I think, so that I see what I say

If yawns could kill….

with one comment

Class is a stage. My students are actors (I am a director, sometime with a cameo role!). So went to my class and asked for two volunteers who could enact the roles of a buyer and a seller in a financial transaction. Buyers and sellers wore paper caps indicating their respective roles (thanks DP for this suggestion sometime back!). In those caps, the boys were kings and the girls queens! Not sure if it worked in terms of learning objectives. But evoked quite a few laughs, and attracted amused attention from the students. During and after each ‘drama scene’, paused and did a ‘concept check’. Seemed many of them were ‘getting it’. It felt good inside. Then………… half way  during the class, my eyes fell, with great horror, on a yawn rising from the right corner of the room! My elated mood came crashing down and hit the concrete floor!!!! WHY O’ WHY! I spent hours preparing this for you. Rehearsed it in my mind many time over, during my evening jog, in the toilet, during shower…..I worked my **s off to bring the class to life, and all you give me is an easy yawn!!!!! Then told myself “hey Mr Shakespeare , teaching is entertainment, more than anything else. sometimes, your show is a hit, sometimes you get tomatoes in your face”. (well, got a lot of them in my student evaluation reports…but more on this some other time!)….So picked myself up, and carried on. Frankly, there were a few weak areas that needed further improvement!! But I did not spare the yawning villain student (sorry, used the term in a figurative, dramatic and metaphorical sense… now you know I am often dramatic in my utterances)! Called him to the front of the class, and made him do the role play! Anyway, at the end I felt that the show went well. How? Got lots of ‘see you sir’ at the end!! (from experience I can tell that when a vast majority of the students leave class at the end, without acknowledging you, this means things are not good….but I might be wrong here….reading too much there!)

Here is an informative article on role plays for active learning:
On another note, Cathy my roommate is doing some very interesting stuff in her Organizational Behaviour class. She made students study team behaviour by giving them a task: build a structure using limited number of straws and paper clips.  These are the things I would like to do to make students do some ‘concrete, physical stuff’ in class, then just read, write, listen and talk. Cathy, keep it coming!

Happy learning and teaching!
Cathy’s students made ‘friendship towers’ this week to increase team rapport! Here are some of those towers.


Written by Amer Khan

March 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. Joy of Forgiveness

    Lord forgive this dear member of my class, who could not suppress his tiredness, sleepiness, or boredom — whatever it is that made him yawn. And, Lord give me the strength to accept reality and authentic self-expression of my students . . . forgive my annoyance and temptation to villainise. Amen!


    March 3, 2012 at 8:07 am

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